Tea Party Scones are the star of any tea party…with the exception of the tea of course. These delicious scones, zested with lemon, are a hit with lemon curd or the perfect base for strawberry shortcake in the summer as well!
Who Doesn’t Love a Tea Party?
We are big fans of tea parties in our house, especially in the winter. We really go all out. Now granted, the majority of the pictures above are from Aunt Kelli’s house, but everything we do now at our home, we learned from her. She makes everything special. Thankfully, she has passed on her love and know-how to the children. I am grateful for all our tea party memories in New Jersey, especially the ones when my mom and grandma came to visit.
Tea Party Menu
Now granted, it is not necessary to fuss in order to have a proper tea party, but why not? There are so many wonderful things to eat. Tea Party Scones are always on the menu paired beautifully with lemon curd. Occasionally we have cucumber tea sandwiches, mini quiches or tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries and macarons. Of course you can’t have a tea party without our favorite Vanilla Rooibos Tea from Mountain Rose Herbs. Tea parties require a special effort, but every little detail communicates that your family and friends are worth the extra time.
Setting the Atmosphere
Setting the atmosphere is absolutely necessary. I have collected many tea cups over time from family members, thrift shops, and Homegoods. No paper cups here. No way! We pull out the good stuff: china, crystal, and silver candles. Throwing a pretty table cloth on the table with candles and soft music playing sets the tone for a wonderful afternoon visit.
TEA PARTY SOUNDTRACK
Tea parties are a perfect place to teach etiquette and enJOY culture. Without a doubt music sets the tone. Some of our favorite albums are:
- Tchaikovsky at Tea Time
- Sense and Sensibility Soundtrack
- Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack
- Scala & Kolacny
- Poldark Soundtrack
- Downton Abbey Soundtrack
- Little Woman Soundtrack
- Chris Botti
- Miss Potter Soundtrack
- Becoming Jane Soundtrack
Recipe for Tea Party Scones
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 T grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled grass fed butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup chilled buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in food processor.
- Add chilled butter and lemon zest and process until you have a crumb like mixture.
- Slowly add in chilled buttermilk and pulse the processor, being careful not to over mix.
- When you can pinch some dough and it sticks together, it is ready (even if it looks like it is not totally mixed.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly to make sure all the dough is incorporated.
- Form the dough into two 1" thick rounds and cut into 6 wedges each.
- Transfer wedges to your prepared baking sheet, giving at least 2" spacing between them.
- If you desire, you can sprinkle with course sugar.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops of scones are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon curd.
I also use this recipe when making my You're the Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake.
Alternatively, you could add orange zest instead of the lemon and add 3/4 cup dried cranberries for something more festive. Cranberries and orange go wonderfully together, especially in the fall and winter season.
This recipe is wonderful with the addition of fresh blueberries folded in for the summer. Lemon and blueberry is a winning combination.
Creating the Perfect Texture for Tea Party Scones
I will be the first to admit that baking is not my strong suit, but I still try. My bestie and I love to have tea parties with the kids. She usually makes the scones…pronounce “sc-AH-ns” according to her Scottish upbringing (I have given up trying to correct her). I bring the lemon curd. This is her recipe…sort of. Now that we have moved away, I have had to learn to make these on my own. They are my favorite and so versatile.
When it comes to baking, I have actually walked through step-by-step with Kelli to ensure success. I had to. How else would I be able to move down south? Somehow she just has the touch. Texture is the most important. Blending it too long will give you a dense scone and you are looking for flaky and light. Blend just until you can pinch some of the dough between your fingers and it sticks together. You want to see chunks of butter still. Dump out onto a floured surface and try not to touch it too much. Undoubtedly, the more you handle the dough, the warmer it will become. The butter needs to stay chilled, not warmed from your hands.
Ultimately, you will want to divide the dough into two circles. Then, using a dough scraper, cut each circle into six equal parts. Sprinkle with sugar and bake on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a preheated 400° oven for 25 minutes.
Hygge Retreat for One
If you have read any of my other posts, you have probably heard me mention the word Hygge. To learn more about Hygge, check out my post on Hygge, Happiness, and Abiding Joy. Every woman needs time to herself to be just her. In my Simply Charlotte Mason homeschooling circles, I have heard it called Mother Culture for moms, or more generally, “me time”. My son has even taken notice when I haven’t set enough time to fuel up and has respectfully suggested I take some time to go out and have some alone time. I did that for a while, but then realized, I didn’t really want to go out. I wanted everyone else to go out for a special time so I could have some time to myself at home.
My special time to myself always includes a special treat. Here are some of my favorite refuel moments:
- Tea Party Scones and Lemon Curd by the fire
- Chocolate Almond Biscotti with a cup of Vanilla Rooibos Tea
- Popcorn with a Pop and a chick flick or good book
- Hot Fudge Sundae and a foot soak
- Kombucha or Citrus & Pine Winter Shrub in the garden
- Pilates and Tulsi Delight or Mint Tea (I had to put something that doesn’t make it sound like all I do is eat sweets all the time to refuel…)
Everyone needs to take a moment to be kind to themselves so they can continue pouring out to those around them.
Strawberry Shortcakes in the Spring/Summer
You will have to check out my Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake post for the whole story, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention here the versatility of Tea Party Scones in making the best summer strawberry shortcake.
Dried Cranberries & Orange Zest in the Fall & Winter
Changing out the lemon zest for orange and folding in an additional 3/4 cups of dried cranberries when you dump out your dough from the food processor onto the parchment paper, will give you a wonderful fall variation. Alternatively, during blueberry season, I have been known to add fresh blueberries with my lemon zest for a seasonal twist. So good!